Social media enables marketers to increase awareness, educate an audience, and eventually develop trust with fans and followers.
What can’t be done with social media?
The ultimate aim of participating for both brick and mortar and virtual (Web only) businesses, however, should be sales and conversions For success in that regard, the importance of having firm social media processes in place is vital.
The approach to social media participation differs for every company and every individual. Message tone and style are often best left to brand strategists, but it is the execution that obviously matters most. Different processes often lead to inconsistency – breeding distrust and perhaps even disloyalty – which is particularly harmful for brands both personal and professional.
To ensure your social media participation does not lead to a similar fate, consider implementing a social media posting schedule which covers how each day (or day of the week) should be used as it relates to sharing content and collaborating with those that support the brand. Let’s call it a social media posting timeframe. Heavy social media users can look at the timeframe as one day, whereas the timeframe for medium or light users of social media may be a week or even a month.
To that end, below you will find a social media posting schedule which could be employed by your social media team. While the volume, tone and style of posting will differ considerably between organizations, following along with these general tactical approaches will yield opportunities to influence the conversation and drive revenue through social media participation.
Greeting and Salutations:
Most likely, you would not walk into a room and start demanding attention from everyone, and you should not do that within social media channels, either. Greeting an audience signifies your arrival, your presence and, more importantly, your availability. Conditioning social media workers – those posting and actually participating – to be sensitive to their roles in the existing conversations will go a long way toward establishing respect and credibility in the minds of consumers.
Once you’ve made the availability of the brand presence known, it is time to start listening to the conversations occurring within social media channels. What feedback have you received from fans and followers since your last social media engagement? What news or events are happening within your industry? Knowing this information will position you well in the next step of sharing content.
Once the listening phase has begun (it should technically never end), you can start sharing content. What content can be shared? Whatever you have available! From new product pages or microsites, to blog posts and formal announcements, anything can be shared as long as it is supportive of the brand's underlying objective. Aligning the content shared with the trends and topics currently circulating in social media channels, however, will aid in resonating the message.
Without actual relationships, the Internet really is just a series of tubes. It is the conversations occurring between brands and consumers that establish trust, loyalty, respect … and sales. Designating a period of the social media participation timeframe to engage in direct outreach will yield new followers and fans and broaden your membership base. The opportunities afforded to those with larger audiences can’t be underestimated.
All work and no play makes for a really lame social media profile. Sharing stories of staff members or loyal users, running contests, giveaways or surveys, are all ways to show the personal side of your organization and increase engagement with a business or brand in social media channels.
Realize that social media participation is never complete – it is an ongoing conversation which requires near-constant attention. Providing a strong finish to specific timeframes provides yet another opportunity to get in front of an audience, tout accomplishments (sharing content), make a few shout-outs (making firmer social connections) and deepening engagement by summarizing the events of the day.